Feel at home with a quality craft beer & some tasty bites
It might sound like some cute little kids tv show on the ABC but The Happy Wombat, on Newcastle's Hunter St, is much better suited to the big kids. The bar itself may not jump out at you from the street but once inside you get that warm, comfortable feeling that comes when you find a place that has so much to like.
Owner Luke Tilse, of Tilse's Apple Truck Cider, had one objective when he opened the restaurant/bar, and that was to offer good customer service and a warm welcoming vibe.
The Happy Wombat taps are a tasty collection of craft beer and cider with Luke preferring to support the Australian and local craft scene. Luke also wanted to take this approach to the menu, but given his predominately front of house experience it made perfect sense to leave the flavours up to chef Shane Kirby and his team.
Luke's confession to being a 'bit of a greenie' and having a passion for the environment has had a major influence on The Happy Wombat's menu construction. Described as contemporary Australian, Shane and Luke have worked hard to source only ethically grown, free range meats and produce from Australian owned and independent businesses. Luke doesn't like to ram this down people's throats, instead he says it's just a personal preference, but if the flavours are anything to go by it's a quality decision. Just try the pork and fennel sausage rolls with an apple and pear chutney and you'll see what I mean.
Now if you're as intrigued by the name as what we were, the story is that it all started with a mate of Luke's whose Puerto Rican backyard bar was named The Happy Wombat. With a combination of quirky and Luke's love of the environment it made for the perfect choice.